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The Legacy And Future Of Mass Incarceration
3:13 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled'

Now 59, George Prendes works as a telemarketer in New York and struggles to make the rent on his small Bronx apartment.
Natasha Haverty

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:11 pm

There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.

What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.

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Books
3:11 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

You Had Me At The First Page: Writers Who Fell For Each Other

Zadie Smith reads from her book On Beauty in 2005.
Sergio Dionisio AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:21 pm

Lidia Jean Kott is an intern at NPR Books.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

We Wonder: Why Couldn't Disabled Cruise Ship Be Evacuated?

In this handout from the U.S. Coast Guard the tugs Resolve Pioneer and Dabhol tow and steer the disabled 893-foot Carnival Triumph cruise ship on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:05 pm

As the Carnival Triumph drifted for days in the Gulf of Mexico, we wondered: Instead of undertaking a slow, arduous tow to Mobile, Ala., wouldn't it have been easier — and more comfortable for passengers — to send an empty cruise ship to the area and evacuate the 3,143 passengers?

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It's All Politics
2:41 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama's Road Trip To Conclude With Florida Break

President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

President Obama will cap off a busy week of politicking with some R&R in Florida.

Obama plans to travel to the West Palm Beach area for what his spokesman called "some well-deserved downtime."

"He's going to spend Presidents Day weekend relaxing with some friends," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "There's no work on the schedule."

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Shots - Health News
2:34 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:40 pm

Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.

Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Prosecutors: Former San Diego Mayor Gambled Away $1 Billion

Maureen O'Connor, center, and Mayor Ed Koch in 1987 in New York.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:06 pm

In a federal court today, prosecutors said former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor misappropriated $2 million of her late husband's charitable foundation because of a gambling addiction.

During a period between 2000 and 2008, reports the San Diego Union Tribune, prosecutors say O'Connor gambled away more than $1 billion.

The paper reports:

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Canada To Zombies: Drop Dead, Eh

Canadian zombies dress for success. (An Occupy Vancouver "Zombie Walk" in October 2011.)
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:06 pm

Apparently, the undead aren't even welcome in the ever polite Great North.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

With GDP Slip, German Economy 'Finally Lost Its Invincibility'

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:42 pm

Today we got more troubling news for the world economy: Germany's GDP slipped 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012, sending the Eurozone deeper into recession.

The Guardian spoke to Carsten Brzeski and analyst for ING, who said:

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It's All Politics
1:18 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Chart Check: Did Obama's Graphics 'Enhance' His Big Speech?

whitehouse.gov/YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:15 pm

These days, Washington is crawling with fact checkers who scour political speeches looking for errors and lies.

But sometimes, even accuracy can be misleading, especially when it comes to graphics and charts. On Tuesday night, President Obama gave his State of the Union address and the White House launched an "enhanced" experience, a multimedia display with video, 107 slides and 27 charts.

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Movie Reviews
1:13 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

'Beautiful Creatures': Young Love, Supernatural And Southern-Fried

Star-crossed Southern lovers Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena (Alice Englert) battle small-town prejudice and mystical evil forces in Beautiful Creatures.
John Bramley Warner Bros. Pictures

Calling Beautiful Creatures a Southern-fried Twilight wouldn't be an unfair claim, at least based on its marketing campaign — which highlights that, yes, this movie centers on a teen romance between a couple of star-crossed kids, one of whom, yes, is all kinds of supernatural. And, yes, their love puts the fate of the world in danger, because, well, why not?

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Oscar's Top Documentaries
12:49 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Oscar Documentaries: A Look Behind The Scenes

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Business
12:46 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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National Security
12:43 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

'Zero Dark Thirty' Renews Torture Debate

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One of the most critically acclaimed and most popular films of the year, "Zero Dark Thirty," is up for five Oscars, including Best Picture. The film follows the hunt for Osama bin Laden and sparked controversy for its depiction of CIA interrogation techniques, including water boarding.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ZERO DARK THIRTY")

JASON CLARKE: (As Dan) Come on, give it to me. Hasam(ph) was a friend of Gramzi Yusef(ph). You guys met in Iran back in the '90s.

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The Salt
12:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

An illustration imagines what a weed-seeking robot could look like, armed with different tools to attack different problem plants.
Courtesy Steve Young

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:08 pm

A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

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Interviews
12:38 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Campaign To End Violence

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

This morning, hundreds of Somali men and women gathered in a community center in Mogadishu after a flash mob. Campaigners in Parliament Square in London held up one finger while MPs debated violence against women inside Westminster. And hundreds of Egyptian sang and danced after 10 a.m., Cairo time, all that from live coverage provided by The Guardian. Events all marked V-Day and its One Billion Rising campaign, designed to boost awareness of violence against women all over the world.

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